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Reprod Biomed Online. 2009 Dec;19(6):784-8.

Effect of vascular endothelial growth factor on sperm motility and survival.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors are present in both male and female reproductive systems. In this experimental study, the effect of different concentrations of VEGF on sperm motility and survival in vitro was investigated. Human spermatozoa, collected from voluntary, proven fertile donors, were incubated in sperm washing medium containing different concentrations of VEGF (5, 10, 15, 20 ng/ml) for 24 h in a university reproductive endocrinology laboratory setting. Assessment of VEGF action on sperm motion characteristics was evaluated using a computer-assisted semen analyser. Sperm survival was determined by hypo-osmotic swelling and eosin-Y dye tests. VEGF had a positive effect on some parameters of sperm motility in a concentration-dependent manner. Maximal effect was observed at a concentration of 15 ng/ml; motility, progression, straight-line velocity and curvilinear velocity of VEGF-exposed spermatozoa were significantly increased (P < 0.05) at this concentration. However, sperm viability was not prolonged at any concentration of VEGF as shown by hypo-osmotic swelling and eosin-Y dye tests. VEGF may increase some sperm motility parameters, but not survival, in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro.

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